Dads: you need to think fit instead of fat

Last week we read about the latest body image label, the so-called Dad Bod. Bestowed by a blogging US college student, it went viral after she postulated that a bit of cuddliness in a man was actually a good thing.

It certainly contrasts the 24-7 narcissism of guys whose entire life revolves around pumping weights, consuming protein shakes and ripping off their shirts at doof-doof music festivals.

We've seen the metrosexual, the retrosexual, the hipster and the spornosexual, so what are we men meant to make of this apparent permission to neglect ourselves and let nature take its course?

As a personal trainer and a formerly chubby guy myself, I have one thought: #TOTES_HEALTHY_FAIL.

Myth busted

Australian men - and especially those of dad age whose lives no longer revolve around gyms and music festivals - don't need any more excuses to neglect themselves. So let's put this Dad Bod myth out to stud right now.

If you're an Aussie dad, you should be aiming for better. We have an abundance of beaches, outdoor exercise areas, sunshine, gyms and sporting facilities. So turn off the TV, lace up your runners and get out and about. Here's a look at how your week could shake out:


Wake early for a run. Bring a skipping rope to the park and perform 10 circuits of a 100m sprint at 100 per cent intensity, walking back for 100 skip-ropes, 10 push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.



Travelling for work today, and there's no time to exercise. Take the stairs to the 15th floor office where the meeting is, and again to the 11th floor hotel room.


Still on the road, but equipped with a pedometer app or fitness band. A walk across town to a meeting and back again achieves 10,000 steps in a day.


It's another busy day of sit-down meetings, but two pre-work tabata sessions alternating squats and sit-ups, then burpees and push-ups, gets the blood pumping. Alternately there's an after-dinner opportunity to hit the garage and bang out 1000 jump ropes followed by three sets of 10 bicep curls.


An opportunity to hit the gym is trumped by a few after-work beers with mates - because it's OK not to be perfect.

Saturday and Sunday

No hard gym session required in favour of getting out for a hike or a swim, running after the kids, and doing household chores. It all adds up to incidental exercise and a solid physique.

Eating and drinking

Fill up on water, not energy or fizzy drinks. Avoid over-eating at client lunches or team dinners, and opt for salmon with veggies, or steak with salad. Bread and pasta are OK on occasion because it will be worked off. There could be the occasional few drinks, and even a few slices of pizza served with a big, healthy salad.

There's plenty of healthy stuff, a bit of fun stuff, and the upshot is that our Aussie dad is fit enough to play with his kids, sharp enough to succeed at work, eats and drinks well, and consequently stays well away from doctors and hospitals.

Move it or lose it

So, let's put an end to blokes out there rubbing their bellies and thinking they're on trend. You don't need to live the structured life of the bodybuilder or elite athlete, but every Aussie dad should be thinking about getting moving every single day, eating well and being the best they can be for themselves, their family and their work.

Do that, and you can rise above whatever crazy, weird or outright dangerous body image idea comes next.

Are you a dad or mum, or a middle-aged man or woman? How do you build exercise and health into a busy life? 

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions an annual charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

 Follow Michael Jarosky on Twitter or drop him an email.